A Guide to the Most Despicable Florida Moguls on Forbes 400 Richest List
This guy has too much cash.
Forbes' bean counters have compiled their latest list of the 400
most shameless oligarchs richest entrepreneurs in all the land, and South Florida keeps gleefully riding the money train. Twenty-four of the magazine's wealthiest call the land of bath salts and condo busts home, and when they're not hosting $50,000-per-plate fundraisers to listen to Mitt Romney rail against the sweaty, boil-infested masses, they're running the Miami Heat, funding art museums and buying mayoral recalls.
They're also all TERRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS. Why should you despise the richest people in South Florida? Glad you asked!
With Honore de Balzac's famous quote in mind -- "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime" -- let's traipse down some of the most despicable entries on Forbes list of South Florida's wealthiest residents:
1. Mickey Arison, $5 billion (National rank: 68th)
Sure, Arison is riding a wave of love in Miami these days after bringing home a championship for his Miami Heat last year. Too bad Mickey refuses to share any of the millions he's banking off the team with the taxpayers who helped him build a stadium on Biscayne Bay.
Even though his original agreement with the county called for him to share 40 percent of profits over $14 million, Arison's accountants have magically ensured he's never met that benchmark -- even in the money-flowing era of LeBron. Miami-Dade's inspector general recently concluded he owes the county at least $3 million.
2. William Koch, $4 billion (National rank: 92)
Unlike his brothers, Charles and David, Bill Koch hasn't used his massive, inherited fortune to become a living cartoon villain waging war on the federal government.
Instead, he's used it to become a zany cartoon rich guy who literally built an entire Wild West ghost town on his Colorado property -- complete with saloon, jail, church and 50 other buildings. Oh yeah, no one is allowed to see it, either. It's locked up, heavily guarded, and apparently meant just for Bill to wander around when he's not living in Palm Beach so he can pretend to be a cowboy.
3. Edward Lampert, $3.2 billion (National rank: 125)
Lampert's name may not be as familiar to Florida residents; he only joined the local list after plunking down $40 million for an Indian Creek house last year. His crime? Accusations that he's run Sears, once a truly great American corporation, into the ground. "Lampert has destroyed Sears," Forbes wrote last year. "Once the most critical force in retailing, since Mr. Lampert has taken over Sears has become wholly irrelevant."
4. Jeff Greene, $2.2 billion (National rank: 218)
Greene was just another billionaire investor in West Palm until 2010, when he decided all his cash meant he was qualified to be a U.S. Senator. Greene's disastrous challenge of Kendrick Meek in the Democratic primaries brought out all kinds of great dirt on the mogul, including allegations that his $7.9 million party yacht hosted wild parties full of drugs, sex, Lindsay Lohan, Mike Tyson, and Cuban-embargo-violating visits to Havana.
Since Greene lost, he's kept himself busy unsuccessfully suing newspapers for libel and being accused of abusing employees at a resort he snatched up out of foreclosure.
5. Jorge Perez, $1.2 billion (National rank: 360)
Perez is hatable enough for his nickname: the "Donald Trump of the Tropics;" he's often acted like Trump in his dealings, too, with critics accusing him of helping to fuel Miami's massive condo boom and then swooping in on distressed properties during the bust. Perez mysteriously seemed to know of Genting's plans to build a casino on the Miami Herald property, buying part of the land six months before they came to town before flipping it for a $61 million profit.
Worst of all, though, Jorge Perez helped fund the new Miami Art Museum -- but only in exchange for plopping his name out front, so we'll all spend decades looking at the Jorge M. Perez Art Museum every time we drive over the MacArthur Causeway.
Check out a breakdown of all the Florida entries on Forbes list over at the Miami Herald.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.